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Lemon Pecan Snowball Cookies

These buttery and crumbly shortbread style cookies dotted with chopped pecans then rolled in powdered sugar are simply irresistible! The addition of fresh lemon flavor makes these pecan snowball cookies even more scrumptious, you can't just have one! They are traditionally baked as holiday cookies in the United States, but they are also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies or Russian Tea Cakes.


Course Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine American
Keyword butterball cookies, lemon christmas cookies, lemon cookies with powdered sugar, lemon meltaway cookies, lemon pecan snowball cookies, lemon shortbread cookies, lemon snowdrop cookies, lemon snowflake cookies, mexican lemon cookies, mexican wedding cookies, pecan cookies, russian tea cakes, snowball cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chill 1 hour
Servings 34 Cookies
Author Manila Spoon


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter (16 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' or powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • tsp lemon extract
  • ½ cup pecans, finely crushed
  • cups confectioners' or powdered sugar, for rolling


  1. Whisk together in a bowl the flour, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.

  2. Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft and fluffy. Adjust the speed of your mixer to low and add the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, lemon extract and lemon zest. Slowly add in the flour mixture and the finely crushed pecans and mix just until combined.

  3. Chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour (this would make the cookie dough harden a bit so it would be easier to handle). You want the cookie dough to remain a bit cold by the time you place them in the oven so they do not flatten or spread too much while baking and retain a good roundish mound shape. Preheat the oven to 350F at the end of one hour.

  4. Scoop the dough into 1" balls; a small cookie scoop is quite handy for this and will produce uniformly sized balls. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet or silpat leaving enough space between cookies to allow them to expand. Bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes or just until light brown on the bottom.

  5. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 4-5 minutes or while still warm. When the cookies are firm enough to handle but still warm, carefully roll the cookies in the powdered sugar. Place on a rack and let the cookies cool completely, then re-roll in the sugar.

    Make about 34 cookies.